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Bay Area county map

The San Francisco Bay Area (red) and the counties that make it up.

The Bay Area is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California in addition to the Grizzly, Honker, Richardson, San Rafael and Suisun Bays. The region encompasses the major cities and metropolitan areas of San JoseSan Francisco, and Oakland, along with smaller urban and rural areas. The Bay Area's nine counties are AlamedaContra CostaMarin, Napa, San FranciscoSan MateoSanta ClaraSolano, and Sonoma. Home to approximately 7.44 million people, the nine-county Bay Area contains many cities, towns, airports, and associated regional, state, and national parks, connected by a network of roads, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels and commuter rail. The combined statistical area of the region is the second-largest in California (after the Greater Los Angeles area), the fifth-largest in the United States, and the 43rd-largest urban area in the world.

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) does not use the nine-county definition of the Bay Area. The OMB has designated a more extensive 12-county Combined Statistical Area (CSA) titled the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area which also includes the three counties of San JoaquinSanta Cruz, and San Benito that do not border the San Francisco or San Pablo Bays, but are economically tied to the nine counties that do.

The Bay Area has the 2nd most Fortune 500 Companies in the United States, and is known for its natural beauty, liberal politics, entrepreneurship, and diversity. The area ranks second in highest density of college graduates, and performs above the state median household income in the 2010 census; it includes the five highest California counties by per capita income and two of the top 25 wealthiest counties in the United States. Based on a 2013 population report from the California Department of Finance, the Bay Area is the only region in California where the rate of people migrating in from other areas in the United States is greater than the rate of those leaving the region, led by Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Sub-Regions Edit

East Bay Edit

The eastern side of the bay, consisting of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, is known locally as the East Bay. The East Bay can be loosely divided into two regions, the inner East Bay, which adjoins the Bay shoreline, and the outer East Bay, consisting of inland valleys separated from the inner East Bay by hills and mountains.

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The Oakland Skyline

  • The inner East Bay includes the western portions of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, including the cities of Oakland, Hayward, Fremont, Berkeley, and Richmond, as well as many smaller suburbs such as Alameda, Castro Valley, Newark, Union City, Emeryville, Albany, San Leandro, San Pablo, Crockett, El Sobrante, Pinole, San Lorenzo, Hercules, Rodeo, Piedmont, and El Cerrito. The inner East Bay is more densely populated, with generally older buildings, and a more ethnically diverse population. This region contains the Bay Area's largest seaport, the Port of Oakland, the headquarters of Pixar Animation Studios, and hosts the professional sports franchises the Golden State Warriors, Oakland Raiders, and Oakland Athletics.
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Mount Diablo, a prominent landmark in the East Bay.

  • The outer East Bay consists of the eastern portions of Alameda and Contra Costa counties and is divided into 4 distinct areas: Lamorinda, Central Contra Costa County, East Contra Costa County, and the Tri-Valley. The word Lamorinda was coined by combining the names of the cities it includes: LafayetteMoraga, and OrindaWalnut Creek is situated east of Lamorinda and north of the San Ramon Valley and, together with ConcordMartinez, and Pleasant Hill comprises Central Contra Costa County. The cities of Antioch, Pittsburg, Brentwood, Oakley and the unincorporated areas surrounding them comprise East Contra Costa County. The Tri-Valley consists of the Amador, the Livermore, and the San Ramon Valleys. Dublin and Pleasanton comprise the Amador Valley, Livermore lies in the Livermore Valley, and the San Ramon Valley consists of Alamo, DanvilleDiablo and its namesake, San Ramon. The outer East Bay is connected to the inner East Bay (East/West) by BART, Interstate 580 to the south, and State Routes State Route 4 to the north, and State Route 24 via the Caldecott Tunnel in the center. The outer East Bay's infrastructure was mostly built up after World War II. This area remains largely white demographically, although the Hispanic and Filipino populations have grown significantly over the past 2–3 decades.

North Bay Edit

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument

The region north of the Golden Gate Bridge is known locally as the North Bay. This area encompasses Marin County, Sonoma County, Napa County and extends eastward into Solano County. The city of Fairfield, being part of Solano County, is often considered the easternmost city of the North Bay.

With few exceptions, this region is quite affluent: Marin County is ranked as the wealthiest in the state. The North Bay is relatively rural compared to the remainder of the Bay Area, with many areas of undeveloped open space, farmland and vineyards. Santa Rosa in Sonoma County is the North Bay's largest city, with a population of 167,815 and a Metropolitan Statistical Area population of 466,891, making it the fifth-largest city in the Bay Area.

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Napa Valley

The North Bay is the only section of the Bay Area that is not currently served by a commuter rail service, however the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit is scheduled to open in 2016. The lack of transportation services is mainly because of the lack of population mass in the North Bay, and the fact that it is separated completely from the rest of the Bay Area by water, the only access points being the Golden Gate Bridge leading to San Francisco, the Richmond-San Rafael and Carquinez Bridges leading to Richmond, and the Benicia-Martinez Bridge leading to Martinez.

Peninsula Edit

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San Francisco

The area from San Francisco to the Silicon Valley, geographically part of the Peninsula, is known locally as The Peninsula. This area consists of San Francisco and suburban communities in San Mateo County, and the northwestern part of Santa Clara County, as well as various towns along the Pacific coast, such as Pacifica and Half Moon Bay. This area is extremely diverse. Many of the cities and towns had originally been centers of rural life until the post-World War II era when large numbers of middle and upper class Bay Area residents moved in and developed the small villages. Since the 1980s the area has seen a large growth rate of middle and upper-class families who have settled in cities like Palo AltoLos Altos, Portola Valley, Woodside, and Atherton as part of the technology boom of Silicon Valley. Many of these families are of foreign background and have significantly contributed to the diversity of the area. Peninsula cities include: Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Cupertino, Daly City, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Pacifica, Portola Valley, Redwood City, Redwood Shores, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Francisco, San Mateo, South San Francisco and Woodside.

San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides; the north, east, and west. The city squeezes approximately 805,000 people in under 46.9 square miles, making it the second-most densely populated major city in North America after New York City. On any given day, there can be as many as 1 million people in the city because of the commuting population and tourism. San Francisco also has the largest commuter population of the Bay Area cities. The limitations of land area, however, make continued population growth challenging, and also has resulted in increased real estate prices. Though San Francisco is located at the tip of the peninsula, when the peninsula is discussed, it usually refers to the communities and geographic locations south of the city proper.

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San Jose

South Bay Edit

The communities at the southern region of the Bay Area are primarily located in what is known as Silicon Valley, or the Santa Clara Valley. These include the city of San Jose, and surrounding municipalities, including the high-tech hubs of Santa Clara, Milpitas, Cupertino, Mountain View, Sunnyvale as well as many other cities like Saratoga, Campbell, Los Gatos and the exurbs of Morgan Hill and Gilroy. Some Peninsula and East Bay towns are sometimes recognized as being in the Silicon Valley. Generally, the term South Bay refers to Santa Clara County, but the northwest portion of the county (Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills) is considered part of the Peninsula (even though these cities are in Santa Clara County).

Silicon Valley was primarily an agricultural center from the time of California's founding until World War II. During and after the war, working and middle-class families migrated to the area to settle and work in the burgeoning aerospace and electronics industries. This area then experienced rapid growth as agriculture was gradually replaced by high-technology. During this period, the Santa Clara Valley gradually became an urbanized metropolitan region. Today, the growth continues, fueled primarily by technology jobs, the weather, and immigrant labor. Urbanization is gradually replacing suburbanization as the population density of the valley increases. This trend has resulted in a huge increase in property values, forcing many middle-class families out of the area or into lower income neighborhoods in older sections of the region. The Santa Clara Valley also came to be known as Silicon Valley, as the area became the premier technology center of the United States. Some notable tech companies headquartered in the South Bay are AMD, Adobe, Intel, Netflix, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Google, eBay, Facebook and Yahoo!. Largely a result of the high technology sector, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita.

The population of the entire valley is part of the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area, which has about 2 million residents. San Jose, the largest city in the Silicon Valley area, is the tenth most populous city in the United States and the most populous city in the Bay Area. San Jose is the oldest city in California and was its first capital. The city prides itself on being an environmentally conscious city. It recycles a greater percentage of its waste than any other large American city. Over the past several decades, the San Jose Area has experienced rapid growth. To limit the effects of urban sprawl, planned communities were laid out to control growth. Urban growth boundaries have been established to protect remaining open space (primarily in the surrounding hills and southern border) from development. Most new growth has been urban infill in the form of high density housing to increase density rate. The growth rate has slowed, but the area continues to have steady growth.

San Jose is home to many sports teams both amateur and professional, such as the San Jose Sharks of the NHL, and the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS. The San Francisco 49ers moved to a new stadium in Santa Clara in 2014.

The Silicon Valley has a large transportation infrastructure that includes many freeways, VTA bus service and light rail, Amtrak, and commuter rail such as Caltrain. The San Jose International Airport serves air traffic in the San Jose Area and is conveniently located just north of downtown in the center of Silicon Valley. The height of buildings in Downtown is limited (due to FAA regulations and city ordinance) because it is situated directly under the flight path. The South Bay is poised to have a more efficient transportation network with the extension of the BART system to San Jose, which would allow elevated/subway travel into San Francisco. San Jose will also be a major stop on the proposed California High-Speed Rail system.

Outer Bay Edit

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Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, a well-known attraction in Santa Cruz.

Whether Santa CruzSan Benito and San Joaquin counties are considered part of the San Francisco Bay Area depends on the observer. For example, the regional governments in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) include only the nine counties above in their boundaries or membership. (The BAAQMD includes all of the nine counties except the northern portions of Sonoma and Solano; the RWQCB includes all of San Francisco and the portions of the other eight counties that drain to San Francisco Bay or to the Pacific Ocean.) However, the Office of Management and Budget defines the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Consolidated Statistical Area as a twelve-county region, including the nine counties above plus Santa Cruz, San Benito and San Joaquin counties. Although, the San Francisco television market excludes half of Solano, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and San Joaquin counties; but includes Mendocino and Lake counties. Meanwhile, the California State Parks Department defines the Bay Area as including ten counties, including Santa Cruz but excluding San Benito and San Joaquin. On the other hand, Santa Cruz and San Benito along with Monterey County are part of a different regional government organization called the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments. Local media in the San Francisco Bay Area and travel guides often consider these two counties as part of the South Bay subregion, as they are greatly connected geographically, economically, and historically. Santa Cruz County, along with San Benito County are usually regarded as being part of the California Central Coast and San Joaquin County is usually regarded as part of the California Central Valley, but has seen recent growth as several of its cities and communities have become exurbs of the Bay Area.

In Danville 2nd Ward Young Men Edit

Most of the episodes of Danville 2nd Ward Young Men either take place or have a part in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Young Men live in Danville, in the East Bay Area, so most episodes have are set or have a part there. However, they do travel to various other cities and places throughout the Bay Area. Below is a list of every city visited in Danville 2nd Ward Young Men.

Every City Visited Edit

City County Area
Alamo Contra Costa East Bay
Antioch Contra Costa East Bay
Bay Point Contra Costa East Bay
Berkeley Alameda East Bay
Bolinas Marin North Bay
Concord Contra Costa East Bay
Danville Contra Costa East Bay
Diablo Contra Costa East Bay
Dublin Alameda East Bay
Fairfield Solano North Bay
Fairview Alameda East Bay
Gilroy Santa Clara South Bay
Hayward Alameda East Bay
Healdsburg Sonoma North Bay
Lafayette Contra Costa East Bay
Livermore Alameda East Bay
Los Altos Santa Clara South Bay
Martinez Contra Costa East Bay
Mill Valley Marin North Bay
Moraga Contra Costa East Bay
Muir Beach Marin North Bay
Oakland Alameda East Bay
Olema Marin North Bay
Orinda Contra Costa East Bay
Palo Alto Santa Clara South Bay
Pleasanton Alameda East Bay
San Bruno San Mateo Peninsula
San Francisco San Francisco Peninsula
San Jose Santa Clara South Bay
San Rafael Marin North Bay
San Ramon Contra Costa East Bay
Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Outer Bay
Santa Rosa Sonoma North Bay
Sausalito Marin North Bay
Sunol Alameda East Bay
Richmond Contra Costa East Bay
Vacaville Solano North Bay
Walnut Creek Contra Costa East Bay

* Cities in bold are prominent cities, meaning five or more episodes are set there.

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